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The SEVA:EAA is also working on instructions to help guide experienced EV Converters through the process. The project has rescently moved to it's own site here. See Prius PHEV and PriusPlus for content which has moved from the Seattle Chapters site.

Production Hybrids such as the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius may turn out to be the missing link of vehicles, as they are solely gas fueled car that do electric tricks, they are not Electric Cars, rather than a way to transition away from gasoline they are merely a way to slightly reduce consumption. It's the transitioning away from gas as a fuel source which should really be a major priority for everyone. As the president says "America is addicted to oil", Plug-In Hybrids may be a big part of the solution.

Hybrid Conversions or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) are hybrid cars that can use gas or electricity as sources of fuel, they can plug-in to fuel up with gas or electricity. These are usually hybrids which are modified, but might also include EV's with pusher or genset range extending trailers. The PHEV designation may also be found with a number denoting their electric-only range, such as PHEV-10 (for 10 miles of electric range) or PHEV-300 (In the case of the 300 mile SEVA:Tzero EV with its gas fueled range trailer).

See also


Toyota Prius PHEVs

There have been a number of sucessful Prius Plus conversions. Ron of CalCars has a PbA version and EDrive is expected to use Valance Li-ion batteries to perform conversions with ideal range. Both are based on the 2004 or newer (Gen2) Toyota Prius and are now capable of charging from the grid using standard 120vac outlets. They can operate as pure EV's at speeds up to 34mph for the range of their larger batteries, which is about 10 miles for the PbA and 30 miles for the Li-ion battery packs. While also delivering vastly improved mileage at higher speeds in an EV-Heavy type of Mixed-mode which delivers roughly twice the gas mileage durring trips of twice their electric ranges (or 20 and 60 miles). Of course one should also consider the electric power required to recharge in these 100+ mpg situations (<$1 per gallon equivalent). During extended drives they operate just as a normal Prius and deliver their usual mileage.

CalCars & PriusPlus

PHEV Conversions from EDrive

PHEV Kits from Hymotion

Toronto, ON. February 21, 2006: Hymotion unveils Plug-in Hybrid Technology at the Canadian International Autoshow in Toronto to use Lithium Ion Polymer battery. good comments and more links, flame comments mostly, Yahoo ETList, Yahoo Prius-2G Yahoo Gridable-hybrids Yahoo CalCars-News

Initially, Canadian company Hymotion is offering the PHEV upgrade in two models: the 5kWh L5 for the Prius and the 12kWh L12 for the Ford hybrid SUVs. This innovation is not cheap, so the company is targeting fleet buyers before individual consumers. In quantities greater than 100, the Prius L5 is US $9,500; quantities over 1,000 drop the price to US $6,500. Other systems are under development for the Lexus RX400h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Per Plug-in Hybrid Kits
SystemHymotion L5Hymotion L12EDrive
Vehicle Toyota Prius Ford Escape Hybrid
Mercury Mariner Hybrid
Toyota Prius
Battery type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion Lithium-ion
Energy 5 kWh 12 kWh 9 kWh
Charge time 5.5 hrs / 4.0 hrs 12 hrs /6 hrs 9 hrs
Weight 72.5 kg 147.5 kg 113.4 kg
Estimated battery range 50 km (31 miles) 80 km (50 miles) 56 km (35 miles)
Estimated fuel economy (comb.) 100 mpg 60 mpg 100–150 mpg
Price $9,500 for orders >100
$6,500 for order >1,000
n/a $10,000–$12,000

So Hymotion can do $6,500 for 1000, $9,500 for 100 or more, and probably similar to the $10K-$12K of EDrive for an order of a single vehicle. They both go nearly the same distance at 31 vs 35miles, Hymotion is rated 5kWh and 40.9kg lighter than the EDrive at 9kWh, 1.8 times the energy at 1.56 times the weight.

While the battery type could make up the specific energy differance of 69Wh/kg versus 89Wh/kg the range discrepency is still odd. This could be due the SOC range used, though one would suspect that most of the capacity would be utilized as that's one of the things Lithium does well. Perhaps EDrive is being conservative on cycle depth, DOD, as I believe there is no stock battery to fall back on for HEV opperation in their case, while Hymotion could effectively discharge the additional Li pack till it fell off the end of it's abrupt discharge curve at 100% DOD, or 0% SOC.

Anyway, some Electric Conversion guys I know have mentioned that they think a simple "Hybrid battery", as it's known in the BEV world, type setup where a larger battery feeds the stock one would work, which Hymotion. seems to have confirmed. The PriusPlus or EDrive method still has the advantage of being able to replacing the stock NiMH battery with a far lighter Lithium flavored one!

Notice the trend towards the magical $500/kWh at 1000 units on the Hymotion battert packs, figure $1500 for the other hardware... This is about the cost of current mass production small form Li cells, who knows what happens to the cost once you ramp vehicle scale production into the millions? $250/kWh? $100/kWh? Keep in mind that something like the tzero with 6800 18650 cells is about 1000 laptops worth, so each PHEV might represent 200 laptops, 1000 cars = 200,000 laptops...

PHEV Proponents

Dr. Andrew Frank

Dr. Frank of UC Davis and his teams of students have been experimenting with various advanced vehicle technologies for the last 25 years.


Wayne Brown

I'm aware of a few other people who have added additional battery capacity to Prii, although they did not grid-recharge, those projects are rather close to becomming PHEV projects.

Other PHEVs

ACP Tzero

The SEVA:Tzero is an all electric vehicle sports ev with 300 miles of range. Though it can also function as a PHEV at about 30mpg on gas utilizing it's gas powered range extending trailer. In which case it becomes a PHEV-300 with unlimited gas range.

DaimlerChrysler Sprinter Van

DaimlerChrysler announced a PHEV-20 Sprinter van at the HanoverTruck Show in Sept. 2004. It will have a 15kWh advanced Lithium-ion battery and 120hp continuous (280hp peak) electric motor.

Insight & M I M A

Unlike the Prius the Honda Insight doesn't have an electric only mode of opperation, as such at first glance it doesn't seem to be as attractive for conversion. However it's a very light and aerodynamic vehicle which makes it rather attractive for conversion.

Gary Graunke has done just that with his "Out-a-sight" Conversion at the evalbum and his homepage. Technically this should appear on the SEVA:Conversions page.

There is also a MIMA Manual IMA (Intigrated Motor Assist) control project which provides manual control over the IMA (Assist/Regen) on the Honda Insight. While not a PHEV project it might make it possible to utilize additional battery capacity in a Mixed-mode similar to the Prius at high speeds.

A local SEVA member is also working on a sort of odd Insight conversion, which is comming along rather slowly. See Ryan's PHEV Insight Project.

Hybrid Truck Project

An interesting projects to convert an existing Hybrid commuter bus into a PHEV Recreational Vehicle.

Prof Jim Burns

News Articles

See also News

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